Food for Thought #8

Have a Nice Life is one of those bands I don’t know I discovered… it was probably thanks to the spotify algorithm, anyway it was a great discovery: currently, I´m truly addicted to some of the songs of this american band.

This week started the ‘Lisbon Book Fair’. Due to the pandemic it was postponed from April to late August. It’s not that the pandemic ended in Lisbon – unfortunately, we are far from that! -, anyway people need to continue their lives and the ‘Lisbon Book Fair’ is one of those events that, personally speaking, gives some hope and brings some joy to our life.

As many of you have seen, since october 2012 I have listed every book I read. I have to be honest, I can’t guarantee it is totally correct, probably I forgot to put some of my readings, anyway I’ve been reading a lot lately and today’s ‘Food for Thought’ will be focused on that.

‘Les Jeunes Filles’ (‘The Young Girls’) is a tetralogy written by Henry de Montherlant that I finally complete! In fact, I didn´t read it in the right order because when I first bought ‘Pity for the Women’, in a second hand bookstore in the downtown of Lisbon, I didn´t know this novel was part of a collection of four.

Anyway, once I started to read Montherlant I noticed how talented he was: in ‘The Young Girls’ this french author wrote some of the most misogynist and anti-feminist literature that certainly shocked me, yet with such humor that surprised me and kept my attention.

While I was following this tetralogy I found myself thinking that, nowadays, it would be hard for a publisher to sign a collection of books like this… I’m truly glad I read this books and I totally recommend Henry de Montherlant!

Another literary suggestion is Teju Cole and its novel ‘Open City’ that follows the steps of a nigerian-american (just like Cole) doctor through the streets of New York and through his mind, based on his thoughts and patients and literary ambitions.

I found the novel really interesting for two reasons: it’s truly cerebral, as a reader I felt inside this medical doctor’s head as he shares his impressions and his days while he wanders around New York.

On the other hand, ‘Open City’ is truly contemporary as this novel approaches racism directly, sharing a powerful testimony on how it is to live in a country with high levels of descrimination and prejudice.

Last but not least, another fantastic book I read is a collection of reports made by a portuguese newspaper in one of the last asylums of Lisbon, Miguel Bombarda.

Based on what the infirm left in this mental institution, the journalist Catarina Gomes writes a documentary that might be read as a novel: as Gomes discovers a box of objects left in Miguel Bombarda asylum, she starts a demand to discover the stories behind its owners.

What about you, my dear readers, what have you been reading lately?? Feel free to comment and share your book recommendations in the comments section below!


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8 responses to “Food for Thought #8

  1. Thanks for sharing the music! Great discovery and I am listening as I read. Interesting books too. Open Cities sounds like a read. Catarina Gomes’ book too. I am currently reading the English translation of The Traveling Cat Chronicles 🙂

  2. Thanks for the music and book recommendations, made a nice start to my Friday 🙂 I just finished reading Moon Palace by Paul Auster. It’s filled with ideas that had me shouting (to myself) Yes! Yes! Keep up the great work 🙂

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